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A preliminary analysis by El Paso News of the campaign financial reports show that Woody Hunt is not this election season’s largest political contributor to the city council campaigns. This city council election cycle largest campaign contributor is J.P. Bryan, according to the latest campaign reports. Bryan is a Houston-based businessman in the energy sector who is best known in El Paso for helping to fund Max Grossman’s litigation against the downtown sports arena. The ongoing litigation has cost El Paso taxpayers over $3 million since 2017.

Bryan has used the wealth he has amassed in Texas history preservation. Bryan’s funding of the lawsuit against the downtown arena is to protect the Duranguito neighborhood against gentrification.

In total, as of the 8-day financial reports, candidates running for a city council seat, including the two incumbents have amassed $275,524.37 in political contributions.

Incumbent Isabel Salcido has raised the most, amassing $61,359.38. However, the largest amount of campaign funding belongs to Brian Kennedy running for the open district 1 seat. Kennedy, an attorney, raised $42,695 and loaned himself $51,000. In total, Kennedy has $93,695 to spend on his campaign. He is the only candidate showing expenses on television advertising. Kennedy has reported spending $28,810 on television advertising at KDBC and KVIA.

Kennedy’s loan to his campaign represents almost 20% of the total amounts raised by all the candidates. Although Woody Hunt has traditionally contributed the most in past election cycles, this cycle the largest political contributor is J.P. Bryan. In total, Bryan has contributed $20,500 to candidates in districts 1, 6 and 8.

Woody Hunt came in second in total contributions for his $17,500 in contributions to candidates in districts 1, 6 and 8, as well. In total, the top five campaign contributors this election cycle contributed $59,000. In addition to Bryan’s $20,500 and Hunt’s $17,500 the other three top contributors included Stanley Jobe with $10,000 in contributions, the El Paso Association of Realtors through its TREPAC PAC at $6,000 and $5,000 from former city representative Steve Ortega. Their total contributions represent about 21% of the total funds raised by the candidates.

When Kennedy’s loans are factored in, almost 40% of the political contributions came from the five top contributors, including Brian Kennedy’s personal loans to his campaign.

It should be noted that Joshua Hunt also contributed to candidates in district 1 and 6 a total of $4,000. His figures are not included in our calculations. It is also important to point out that Joe Pickett’s PAC expenses in the election are not expected to be known for some time. However, the amounts that the PAC is spending on the election are likely to be significant.

Stay with El Paso News for continued coverage of the city council elections.

Disclosure:
The author’s technology company is providing technology services to the Claudia Rodriguez Campaign. In addition, both the Rodriguez and the Isabel Salcido campaigns purchased advertising space in the El Paso News 2022 Voters’ Guide. The total billed to both campaigns is less that $1,500. Their advertising and the technology services provided by the technology company have no influence in our reporting.

Martin Paredes

Reporting on public corruption, border politics, immigration and public policy in El Paso since 2000.